As a runner and cyclist, I went down the Garmin rabbit hole and now use the obscenely expensive Garmin Fenix 6. Recently I reviewed the Huawei Watch GT, and I am currently reviewing the Honor Band 5, which sits at the opposite end of the spectrum at just £30.
This made me wonder what are the best options for someone wanting basic fitness tracking at an affordable price.
Like many, I started off with Fitbit, and it was a good introduction to fitness tracking, as I got into running, I eventually moved to a GPS enabled device for accurate tracking. While Fitbit dominated the step tracking market scene for years, dozens of new products have launched at more attractive prices, and in the past few years, they have started to struggle.
Letsfit Fitness ID115U or Letscom – £15 – 20.00
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I have reviewed the Letsfit Fitness ID115U, and there are several other options around this price point. They are about as cheap as you can get, but they do work quite well and are very much like the older versions of Fitbit charge.
Honor Band 5 – £29.90
Depending on your requirements, I think the Honor is the best affordable option on this list. £30 is just insane value for money for what you are getting, the price is well worth the extra compared to Letsfit.
This has an AMOLED touchscreen display which is easy to use and provides useful phone notifications including the contents of text messages. Step and sleep tracking are accurate, while it doesn’t have GPS natively it can use assisted GPS from your phone to track a run. Following a recent update it will even monitor your blood oxygen levels.
Xiaomi Mi Band 4 – £30.99
I have not used the Mi Band 4, but functionally, from what I can tell, it is almost identical to the Honor Band 5. The app will be different, and some people may prefer how Xiaomi do things, but the Huawei Health app has marginally better reviews on the play store. The Mi Band does not track blood oxygen levels from what I can tell.
Amazfit Bip Smartwatch – £63
This is the cheapest GPS enabled watch on the list and well worth considering for anyone that wants to track activities outside. It has a rated battery life of 45 days which is longer than any other device on the list. Unfortunately, it only supports four sports profiles, and if you want to export your data to any third party service, such as Strava, it is extremely difficult.
Fitbit Inspire HR – £88 (Prices have been as low as £69.99)
While Fitbit doesn’t offer the best value for money, it is not always the cheapest that is the best. Fitbit still has a large user base, and their step count tables and challenges have always been one of the selling points of the Fitbit ecosystem. While a lot of people will buy a tracker and then barely use it, many users, including me, would always try and hit their daily goals or try to walk further to get to the top of the league tables/challenges.
Garmin Forerunner 35 – £99.99
The Amazfit Bip is a cheaper GPS enabled device, but getting your data to Strava or other apps is hard, Garmin will happily sync to Strava, and they make it easy to download your GPX/Fit file for import into other services.
Garmin are the leader in sports tracking devices, they have a large user base, and you can have friends list with various challenge options. The whole Garmin connect service is well designed and makes fitness and health tracking much easier.
The newer Forerunner 45 is out now, but you will have to pay a premium for that.
My recommendations, depending on your budget and requirements, would be the Honor Band 5 for basic tracking at an incredibly low cost, or the Garmin Forerunner 35 for anyone that want to accurately track outdoor activities.
I am James, a UK-based tech enthusiast and the creative mind behind Mighty Gadget, which I’ve proudly run since 2007. Passionate about all things technology, my expertise spans from computers and networking, to mobile, wearables, and smart home devices.
As a fitness fanatic who loves running and cycling, I also have a keen interest in fitness-related technology, and I take every opportunity to cover this niche on my blog. My diverse interests allow me to bring a unique perspective to tech blogging, merging lifestyle, fitness, and the latest tech trends.
In my academic pursuits, I earned a BSc in Information Systems Design from UCLAN, before advancing my learning with a Master’s Degree in Computing. This advanced study also included Cisco CCNA accreditation, further demonstrating my commitment to understanding and staying ahead of the technology curve.
I’m proud to share that Vuelio has consistently ranked Mighty Gadget as one of the top technology blogs in the UK. With my dedication to technology and drive to share my insights, I aim to continue providing my readers with engaging and informative content.
Last update on 2023-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API